A man has been charged in connection with a suspicious package left near the Cloud Gate sculpture Saturday evening in Millennium Park that prompted an evacuation and an hours-long disruption of downtown traffic.
Emmett DeFrisco, 18, was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, said police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.
About 5:36 p.m. Saturday police responded to a call of a suspicious package, and police Bomb and Arson personnel determined it was comprised of two bricks apparently left behind by "subjects participating in a role-playing event," according to a police statement.
The package appeared wrapped in duct tape with wires visible, according to an early report from a Fire Department spokesman.
At least five young juveniles, apparently four boys and a girl, were seen being questioned during the investigation.
The emergency response also included a Level 1 Hazardous Materials Response, and the investigation snarled traffic in the area of North Michigan Avenue between Madison Street and Randolph Drive for hours, until the alert was called off about 9:30 p.m.
Police had cordoned off the area around the sculpture, also known as "the Bean," evacuated the area and closed down the Park Grill Plaza restaurant.
The five youths could be seen being questioned by authorities behind the police tape, but their connection to the incident was not immediately known.
During the investigation, the Madison entrance to the park was closed to foot traffic, with people coming to the park from the west directed to the Randolph and Monroe street entrances.
Northbound traffic on Michigan Avenue was diverted at Madison.
Mike and Joseph Biancofiori, father and son, were preparing to eat dinner at the Park Grill Plaza when the incident began.
"We just got our beers, and a detective said: 'free dinner for everybody,' and told everybody to get out," Joseph Biancofiori said, standing across the street and watching the scene unfold.
Added his father: "Somebody played a big joke on Chicago. I think they overreacted."
Park Grill Executive Chef Bernard Laskowski said the restaurant evacuation on a Saturday night could cost more than $20,000.
Tribune reporter Erin Meyer contributed.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times